Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson

31
Oct
12

official opinions: Costumes for the musically-inclined

Who wouldn’t want to wear this?

Every year I have trouble deciding what I want to be for Halloween.  You’d think after 27 years of celebrating the same holiday on the same date I’d think ahead, but it’s like I’m surprised every time.  If you’re like me, then you probably don’t have a costume planned yet either- well, never fear. The Stitely staffers (and a few friends) put their heads together and came up with a fantastic list of music-related costume ideas. Enjoy!

Katy PerryClick here for directions on how to make this costume.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart– Don’t forget to practice the “Amadeus” laugh.

Michael Jackson– This costume is always a “Thriller.” (Sorry, had to do it.)

“Devil in a Blue Dress”– Step 1: Wear blue dress. Step 2: Add devil horns & tail.

“We are Devo”

Devo– All you need is a flower pot and a “whip.”

Bob Dylan– Click here to get a how-to and links to important accessories.

The White Stripes– Super simple couples costume- just wear black, red and white.  Add a black wig and drumsticks.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne– Another fun couples costume.

The original tiny dancer

Elton John– Don’t forget the shades.

Janis Joplin or Jimi HendrixEasiest costumes in the world!  Bust out your fav bell-bottom jeans or go to a thrift store, pair with a psychedelic shirt, and put a headband or bandana around your head.  Don’t forget to accessorize: for Janis bring out a whiskey bottle and for Jimi use a real or inflatable guitar.

A Mariachi Band– Grab 4 friends and a sombrero.

iPod– Now THIS takes talent!


25
Jul
12

Guest Star: Fun with Frank Check

This months guest star is Frank Check, drummer of the Chicago Groove Collective! Frank has earned many awards as a jazz soloist, as well as several other awards including the First Chair award from from Instrumentalist Magazine, the John Phillip Sousa award, and the very prestigious Semper Fidelis award form the United States Marine Corp. We thought we’d chat with this award winning musician to get to know him just a little bit better.

SE: What are the five songs or albums you’re listening to the most right now?
Frank Check (FC):
Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
Jill Scott – Who is Jill Scott? – Words and Sounds, Vol. 1
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Zakir Hussein – Essence of Rhythm
Phil Lesh and Friends – Bootleg from Riviera Show (10/20/02)
 
SE: Who or what inspired you to be a professional musician?
FC: My brothers, they always had bands rehearsing at our house when I was a kid and I wanted to be just like them!  One plays guitar and the other plays bass…naturally drums fit right in!
 
SE: What’s your craziest event or gig story?
FC: Several months ago I was playing at a bar gig where several individuals consumed more drinks than they should have (shocking).  I was playing drums behind a clear drum shield and watched as a drunken audience member grabbed a beer bottle off of a tray and threw it at the stage where it shattered on the drum shield and sprayed all over.  Several people escorted the individual out the door.  On the bright side, the Plexiglas saved me and my drums from the beer bottle and guy who threw the bottle came back to apologize a few weeks later!
 
SE: Do you have any regular gigs?
FC: Every Sunday night I play a “live-band karaoke” gig at McGee’s Tavern from 8-11pm.
 
SE: What was your first concert?
FC: I am lucky because my parents took me to several concerts as a kid and I could not even guess which one was first.  The first concert that I asked to go to was AC/DC – Ballbreaker Tour in 96′.  Great way to start!
 
SE: If you could share the stage with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
FC:I will have to adjust the question a bit because that musician and I would need a great cast of characters working with us to make the situation ideal.  I have always thought of music as an ensemble experience and I have always idolized bands and not individuals.  The most important things to me as a drummer are having a killing bass player and guitarists that take you on a journey when they solo.  If I could play with any band I would choose The Allman Brothers Band.  The entire band is incredible and knows how to achieve something amazing and different every time they play.  Each musician in that group relies on the others to make it great!
 
SE: You’re stuck on a desert island forever. Which three albums do you want with you?
FC: This response could change daily!  If I was heading to that island today these would be my choices.
Led Zeppelin – Houses of the Holy
Michael Jackson – Off the Wall
Herbie Hancock – Head Hunters
 
SE: Beatles or Stones?
FC: Stones!
31
Oct
11

Official opinions: Halloween is a Thrill(er)

On this special Music Monday we’ve got a Halloween classic- Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” But in case you’ve already heard this ad nauseam over the weekend’s festivities, we’ve got a treat for you- it’s the VH1 Pop Up Video version! With “info nuggets” full of trivia, like it took a team of 20 makeup artists to turn Michael & his dancers into a zombie crew, this video is a fun way to enjoy this 80’s hit. VH1 recently rebooted Pop Up Video with new videos & trivia for the Millennial generation. Enjoy and have a very happy Halloween from everyone at Stitely Entertainment!

26
Oct
11

official opinions: Costumes for the musically-inclined

Who wouldn't want to wear this?

Every year I have trouble deciding what I want to be for Halloween.  You’d think after 26 years of celebrating the same holiday on the same date I’d think ahead, but it’s like I’m surprised every time.  If you’re like me, then you probably don’t have a costume planned yet either- well, never fear. The Stitely staffers (and a few friends) put their heads together and came up with a fantastic list of music-related costume ideas. Enjoy!

Katy PerryClick here for directions on how to make this costume.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart– Don’t forget to practice the “Amadeus” laugh.

Michael Jackson– This costume is always a “Thriller.” (Sorry, had to do it.)

“Devil in a Blue Dress”– Step 1: Wear blue dress. Step 2: Add devil horns & tail.

"We are Devo"

Devo– All you need is a flower pot and a “whip.”

Bob Dylan– Click here to get a how-to and links to important accessories.

The White Stripes– Super simple couples costume- just wear black, red and white.  Add a black wig and drumsticks.

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne– Another fun couples costume.

The original tiny dancer

Elton John– Don’t forget the shades.

Janis Joplin or Jimi HendrixEasiest costumes in the world!  Bust out your fav bell-bottom jeans or go to a thrift store, pair with a psychedelic shirt, and put a headband or bandana around your head.  Don’t forget to accessorize: for Janis bring out a whiskey bottle and for Jimi use a real or inflatable guitar.

A Mariachi Band– Grab 4 friends and a sombrero.

iPod– Now THIS takes talent!


29
Aug
11

official opinion: happy birthday michael jackson

53 years ago today, Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana and the music world would never be the same. When you think ‘live performance‘, you tend to think MJ. The global hit records, the iconic dance moves; it’s hard to imagine pop music today without Jackson’s impact.

In honor of MJ’s birthday, we’ve made his breakout performance of Billie Jean our choice for this week’s Music Monday. This classic appearance was Michael’s set at the Motown 25th Anniversary Show, and the first time he unveiled his famous Moonwalk.

17
Aug
11

Guest star: How ‘Doopy Lupree’ came to be

For a while now, Stitely Entertainment has had the pleasure of working with experienced musician and Chicago local, Doopy Lupree.  A vocalist for the critically acclaimed Stephanie Rogers Band, Doopy naturally took to music early on in life.  We recently got a chance to ask him a few questions and learn more about his unique career path and the many adventures he’s come across on the way.

Stitely Entertainment: For starters, could you tell us a little bit about the name “Doopy”?  Is this a stage name?  If so, how did you come up with it?

Doopy Lupree:  “Doopy” Lupree.  A name bequeathed upon me by Katherine Chronis.  I had recently returned from spending 8 months in Amsterdam and told her about some of my musical experiences and she looked at me and said, “you’re a regular Doopy Lupree.”  I had no idea what she meant at the time, but I liked the poetics of it.  Later, when i became part of the a cappella trio “78 Cents,”  it fit right in with “Norm K.” and “LaRue Smooth.”

SE:  Who or what inspired you to be a professional musician?  Let’s put this in the present tense and ask “who or whom is inspiring…?”

DL:  College friends Linford Detwieler, Karin Bergquist, and Ric Hordinski.  Sticky Lupree members, Dylan Jones, Rich Stitzel, Lloyd Kind and Todd Lazar.  Former room mate, friend, band leader and singer/ songwriter, Stephanie Rogers.  Friend and DJ, Johnny Fiasco.  Fine Artist, Lora Fosberg.  Friend and Restauranteur, Michael Nahabedian.

SE:    What’s your craziest event story?

DL:  I wouldn’t know which one to tell without incriminating someone.  the time the bride’s dad wanted to dance with me?  The time the bride’s aunt passed out and I had to administer CPR?

SE:  Do you have any regular gigs?

DL:  I work at Naha Restaurant.  500 N. Clark, Chicago, Il., 312.321.NAHA

SE:  Do you play in any other groups? Tell us about them.

DL:  I am fortunate to be able to play with Sticky Lupree.  We’ve crafted some great tunes and re-worked a number of favorites by others revered into chugging groove trains.  We held a near decade-long residency at Webster’s Wine Bar.  I also very much enjoy adding backup vocals to projects.  my vocals can be found on the Large Records release: “Higher” by Johnny Fiasco.

SE:  How did you become involved with music?

DL:  I’m pretty sure it began in utero. my mom has a really pretty voice.  So does my dad.  Simon and Garfunkel, Peter, Paul and Mary, Beach Boys.  Then, when I was toddling, Disney records, church music, grade school music classes.  Then, TV themes. Elton John’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds“, high school marching band and 80’s new wave.  I was in a band at college.  I also had  a side-soul band.   Then I moved to Chicago, joined a gospel choir, started hanging out with DJs and artist-freaks.  Then spent time in Amsterdam and sang on the street and made some great friends.  When I moved back to Chicago, I joined an a capella trio singing in the subways; ended up being on Jerry Springer. Sang on Johnny Fiasco’s Large Records release of “Higher.”  Picked up room mate, Leah Callaghan’s guitar.  Began strumming some open chords and writing songs with her. Formed Sticky Lupree active today.

SE:  What was your first concert?

DL:  Manhattan Transfer. Their cover of Ad-Lib’s “Boy From New York City” was my jam.

SE:   If you could share the stage with any musician, dead or alive, who would it be?

DL:  Sam Cooke.  I feel he would be so gracious.

SE:  What are the 5 songs you’re listening to most right now?

DL:  These are songs that are on my playlist titled “Learn It:”

  1. Everything” by Michael Buble
  2. Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root
  3. Human Nature” by Michael Jackson
  4. “Sailing (That Bus Comes Sailing)” by Lloyd Brodnax King
  5. Love T.K.O.” by Teddy Pendergrass.

SE:   You are stuck on a desert island forever. Which three albums do you want with you?

DL:  I’m going only double albums, and I’m going with albums I’ve never heard before.

  1. Freak Out” by Frank Zappa
  2.  “Clube Da Esquina” by Milton Nascimento and Lo Borges
  3. The Maria Callas version of “Tosca” by Giacomo Puccini

SE:  Beatles or Stones?

DL:  Beatles during the day, Stones at night.

20
May
11

Guest Star: Bill’s School of Rock

I teach 4th through 8th Grade Band and 6th Grade Music at the Oak Grove School. Last Tuesday we presented our Spring Band Concert, the last big performance of the year featuring the Symphonic Band (65 students in grades 6 through 8), Jazz Band (37 students) and Jazz Combo (10 students). All the groups absolutely wailed. I knew that they would. We had prepared so well that the kids could just relax and have a great time. The large group played “The Minnesota March” by Sousa, one of the more difficult marches that goes through a tone of different keys; a long medley of tunes from “The Lion King” that features several soloists; a Lady Gaga Medley that was great fun (I got to play electric bass), the “Hawaii Five-O” theme and a nice arrangement of “O Mio Babbino Caro.”

The Jazz Band and combo played tunes and arrangements by Clifford Brown, Victor Feldman, Duke Ellington and others, with many wonderful solos. We use all instruments in Jazz Band, too. This year we had several clarinet, three flutes and vibes in addition to the regular instrumentation, which made for some beautiful added colors in the arrangements.  We always encourage everyone to take solos and almost all do. Many times there was spontaneous applause from the audience who were all clearly engaged and enjoying the music. The evening concluded with a medley of MJ’s “Bad” and Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September” with Keith, our trombonist/styling vocalist, singing and doing the moonwalk across the stage. It was glorious.

I was so happy for the kids, their parents, our school and our program. To see and hear them succeed so profoundly is one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had; not just for what happened that night, but for the journey we’ve shared over the last five years.

I attended the spring concert of the Libertyville High School Bands (our students, as well as students from two much larger middle schools go there in 9th grade) a week ago and it, too, was wonderful. Gorgeous playing emanated from every instrument. As is the case each year, most of the first-chair players and winners of the awards for outstanding musicianship were Oak Grove alumni. The following weekend, that LHS Wind Ensemble won the 2011 Superstate Band Competition as they have done for most of the last twenty years. No one makes a big deal out of it, but they see what’s happening.

I always say that the stuff we teach in band is not just about band, it’s about life. I’m talking about things like setting your sights on a long-term goal and having the persistence to see it through, the discipline it takes to practice even though you may be tired, being assertive yet sensitive in a team effort, thinking on your feet, showing up prepared and on time, schlepping all the equipment over to the nursing home to brighten the day of people who really can use a little music from some young folks, the direct relationship between how much work you do and how much fun you have, etc., etc. I’ve been doing this long enough now to see students that started band in 4th grade grow up and take their places in the world. While there are some who go on to make music their life’s work, the others who become pediatricians, surgeons, biochemists and teachers were also formed at least partly by their experiences in band at Oak Grove. These are simply great people that I will be proud to know for the rest of my life. I’d like to think that I had a part in their growth not just as musicians, but as human beings, too.

– Bill Overton, Saxophonist in the Stitely Orchestra

If you want to learn more about Bill, read a full interview.

09
Jul
10

Official Opinions: Originals Vs. Covers

My iTunes library is large. Extremely large. I have nearly 60GB of music (which is almost 15,000 songs).  I can’t help but notice that in my large library of [awesome] music selections that often times, I will have multiple versions of the same song. It really begs the questions – can a cover version of a song be better than the original?

Now obviously everybody has a different opinion, but hey, I like to debate a little bit – it’s fun! Here’s a list of 10 popular songs and their equally popular cover versions and my preference between the two.

Continue reading ‘Official Opinions: Originals Vs. Covers’




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